It’s the first of May and here in Europe we look to the skies for that harbinger of spring, the swift, as they return to the north with their screeching cries. Other signs that warmer weather is on the way are the memes that start appearing in the last week of April; Justin Timberlake in full ‘NSync mode declaring, “It’s gonna be Mayyyy” or, for those of us who know he did Britney dirty, Ms Spears in her red latex jumpsuit, singing, “Just so typically May”.
But the one thing we’re all waiting for May to bring us is of course the Eurovision Song Contest. Hosted this year in Turin by last year’s winners, Italy, the first semi final will be on May 10, followed by the second semi 2 nights later, and the grand final on 14 May. We’ve not heard all the songs yet, preferring to be surprised on the night, but what we *are* doing is listening to this most excellent playlist, curated for Spotify by those Kings of Eurovision, Jedward.
John and Edward have been tasked with selecting “The Sound Of Ireland”, honouring the country with the most wins at the Eurovision Song Contest, and they’ve done their homeland proud, choosing 40 songs from not just Eurovision entries, but also songs by Irish artists, both classic and contemporary.
In the playlist you’ll find Eurovision winners such as Linda Martin’s ‘Why Me?’ and Johnny Logan’s ‘Hold Me Now’, alongside the likes of Cian Ducrot’s recent drop, ‘All For You’, and ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’, by Inhaler. Absolute bangers like U2’s ‘Vertigo’, and ‘Dreams’ by The Cranberries sit side by side with utter classics such as Aslan’s ‘Crazy World’, and Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. Rounding it all off is a track that says “Irish Eurovision” like no other, even though it was actually an interval performance when Dublin hosted the contest in 1994 – the magnificent ‘Riverdance’, composed by Bill Whelan. Fun fact: the single, which features vocals from Anúna and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, entered the Irish Singles Chart at the top spot straight after its Eurovision debut, and stayed there for a phenomenal 18 weeks – the longest time any song has ever topped the Irish charts.
Jedward’s own songs feature throughout the playlist, including their two Eurovision entries, 2011s ‘Lipstick’, which opens the set, and ‘Waterline’, from 2012, which appears further down. There’s a couple from their most recent album, ‘Voice Of A Rebel’, and they slot in nicely with all their other choices.
Ireland is known for its rich musical heritage, and with a playlist like this we’re certainly primed to seek out more.
Check your local guides to see if your country is screening The Eurovision Song Contest, or watch on Eurovision TV. Listen to Jedward’s Spotify playlist here, and check out the rest of their music here.